Givenchy’s Growth

Givenchy’s Growth

I‚Äôve always been a little bit confused as to why the editor big wigs like to rain down on Riccardo Tisci‚Äôs parade since his appointment at Givenchy.  It borders on victimisation especially in opposition to the way that Nicholas Ghesquiere consistently gets showered with praise.  Criticism such as ‚Äòoverly-gimmicky‚Äô or ‚Äòtrying too hard‚Äô are the usual crows.

However, the crowing seems to have stopped after the AW08-9 collection was revealed and some have called the collection his best yet and that he has grown up and got his vision all under control.  Perhaps his design sensibilities have always captured what I love which is, and excuse me if this sounds like a throwaway phrase, an alternative vision of beauty, subverted romance.  In this 2007 interview with Riccard Tisci, written by Cathy Horyn, she notes the difference between the reactions from the ‘young women’ and the editors, how the former have taken to Tisci’s designs more so than the latter.  Perhaps I’m just one of the ‘young women’ who isn’t analysing Tisci’s work with considerations of whether he is fulfilling the duties of a creative director at an old French fashion house and whether he is attaining perfection.  His experiments and expressions through the seasons seem to always capitvate me in some way even if I don’t like the entirity of the collections.

Fortunately, the AW08-9 collection full of Spanish matador influences, Elizabetha high necks and plisse excess is singing to me but not because I feel he has finally come ‘out of the "promising" category into a place where he deserves to be seen as a designer who has come of age’ (to quote Sarah Mower), but because he has fully explored and pushed a vision that I have seen before in his work. 

Hopefully, I’ll get to gush and congratulate him in person as he is the president of this year’s Hyeres festival!



Leave a comment
  1. Angie Montreal

    2008-02-28 at 8:10 PM
  2. Make Do & Mend

    2008-02-28 at 8:47 PM

    Oh snap – just posted my style turnaround and the Givenchy collection is utterly brilliant!

  3. iwantaluxlife

    2008-02-28 at 8:53 PM

    That gold dress is to die for….

  4. Mina

    2008-02-28 at 9:30 PM

    I have loved every collection Riccardo has done and I too am unimpressed with the editors that have been so negative toward him especially given that his number 1 fan and the most stylish of editors holds the opposite opinion of him from the mass – Carine Roitfeld has always been supportive of him – I find it quite funny that this being his most average (not as creative silhouette and construction wise) collection is the one that they now say he is on the right track so translated they really mean is ‘if I can see myself (older women who yes might look ridiculous in some of his designs) wearing pieces from this collection then it is a good collection’ – what self centred boring people – labels can’t grow old with their customers or they die along with them – they have to find the right time to transistion to the next generation – this has obviously been an important strategy for Givenchy as a company from as far back as hiring John Galliano – so I’d just like to say to the naysayers who obviously just want another white blouse to go with yet another pair of black pants ‘Go work for a uniform company and leave fashion for those who can’t live without it’

  5. CJB

    2008-02-28 at 11:39 PM

    I also find it so odd that Tisci has generally met negative critiques while Ghesquiere has met such praise. I suppose Ghesquiere references the history of Balenciaga in much more obvious ways while Tisci is more oblique. Sigh, I have always been a fan and at least he is finally getting more.

  6. Meg

    2008-02-29 at 12:04 AM

    I liked the S/S collection but the A/W collection was pressing all my buttons. Black, cream, sheer, ruffles, structure, all in one collection? Yes please. I especially loved the shirts with the sheer shoulders and solid bodies.

  7. fashionwhore

    2008-02-29 at 12:15 AM

    am i the only one that finds myself annoyed with sara mowers reviews?? I loveee Givenchy!

  8. Prêt-à-Porter Prostitute

    2008-02-29 at 12:16 AM

    i am in love with givenchy

  9. The Clothes Horse

    2008-02-29 at 12:33 AM

    All haters beware–I bow before Tisci. His collection is one of my favorites and a great inspiration for how I want my style to progress.

  10. Libertygirl

    2008-02-29 at 1:25 AM

    I do find it odd that Mina (comment above) considers it appropriate to make a rude, sweeping generalisation that all fashion editors are ‘self centered’ and ‘boring’. Another example of how people in the blogosphere can forget that criticism should be constructive rather vituperative. Of course she is entitled to her opinion, but it would have more weight if it was based on something considered. Does she actually think that fashion editors across the board base their opinions on what they want to wear? Really?! Remarkable. So, explain to me then why McQueen bumster collection was so adored, or why we raved about Pugh’s very first gimp collection.
    Anyway, back to Tisci. I remember doing a re-see at Givenchy’s showroom in the Marais during the Paris shows maybe five or six seasons ago and being profoundly disappointed by what I perceived to be a thoroughly mediocre collection. I wasn’t in raptures when I saw it on the runway, but on the rail I thought it actually awful and practically unwearable. It actually stuck in my mind as one of the most disappointing Paris shows I have seen in years. But this most recent show looked much more interesting, although I have missed Paris this year as I am shooting in America.
    We don’t ‘vitimise’ designers, as editors & reports we report on what we see, both on teh runway and in the showrooms and Tisci’s collections have seemed over embellished with unappealing use of fabric and strange cuts in the past. They haven’t sold brilliantly which is, of course, the litmus test, whatever we ‘self centred’, ‘victimising’ editors may say in print or on air. LLG xx

  11. Mej

    2008-02-29 at 1:30 AM

    Ooh I love the sheer black top with the pvc pants! I always always love edginess and delicate at the same time. The contrast is amazing.

  12. Imelda Matt

    2008-02-29 at 1:42 AM

    He’s been on fire for the last couple of collections so I don’t get it either. Under Tisci Givenchy can lay claim to some of the most exciting footwear on the market!
    I also bow down before the Master.

  13. ThePeachTree

    2008-02-29 at 2:25 AM

    I just love your blog. I found you via a storque article on I look forward to seeing more from you 🙂

  14. Becky

    2008-02-29 at 3:50 AM

    I am all for Catholic bling – the collection was su-poib. Although the first few looks reminded me heavily of Alexis Bledel’s hooker outift from “Sin City”. But hey,just as I am all for Catholics, I am equally all for hookers. And ace shoes. Great pick SB!

  15. susie_bubble

    2008-02-29 at 9:31 AM

    Angie: The excessive necklaces looks amazing on Asia…
    Mina: Hmm… it is true that Tisci rocking the boat too much at Givenchy has ruffled some feathers but as you said there is a beautiful exception… the wonderful Carine! I don’t think editors are criticising him for being unwearable but I think they have certain expectations with regards to the history of the house….
    LLG: I definitely wasn’t making a sweeping statement about editors in general. Of course not and as illustrated by Mina, there are exceptions. I just find it odd that criticisms come in unison. Your opinion is a valuable one of course because you see the clothes in person but I guess for me, I see something in Tisci that stirs my own feelings in fashion. In any case, sales have improved in Givenchy and now that Tisci has extended his contract, they seem to be happy with his work.
    Fashionwhore: I too get irked by her reviews sometimes…
    Becky: Catholic hookers…awesome…; )

  16. Style Eyes

    2008-02-29 at 10:00 AM

    I really love this collection especially all the gold ruffles

  17. Mina

    2008-02-29 at 11:15 AM

    I didn’t want to post a reply re: LLG’s comments but for someone who said I am “entitled to her opinion, but it would have more weight if it was based on something considered” I think warrants a good wake up and smell the coffee.
    LLG is so woefully ill informed ‚Äì she states in her spiel/comment above that Tisci‚Äôs collections for Givenchy have not sold brilliantly – well WWD reported on Tuesday ( that ‚ÄúLike-for-like sales last year advanced 25 percent ‚Äî and doubled in the U.S.‚Äù & ‚Äúreturn to profitability in 2007 fueled by sales momentum on multiple fronts, particularly women’s fashions by Riccardo Tisci‚Äù – considering the fact that Tisci has only been at Givenchy since 2006 that‚Äôs proof positive of his ability and popularity as a Givenchy‚Äôs designer and not only is the ready to wear line going well but by February 07 the couture client base has grown from 5 to 29 (death of couture eminent they say? ‚Äì not at this house obviously) which is quite an astounding accomplishment after just 1 years work and Marco Gobbetti, chairman and chief executive of Givenchy concurs by stating that after the last months couture collection show ” sales started very strongly the day after the show‚Äù.
    What collection is she referring to that was ‘mediocre’ five or six seasons ago – he has only been at Givenchy since 2006 – is she referring to his first collection being mediocre – well not every designer wows on their first collection for a globally renowned identity – I’m just glad he wasn’t axed in a knee jerk reaction a la Alessandra Facchinetti from Gucci (Gucci bigwigs obviously prefer women to wear clothing printed with designs derived from floor coverings eewwww) Рyay for Alessandra and her much lauded first collection for Valentino.
    As for ‚Äúwe report on what we see … runway and in the showrooms‚Äù ‚Äì judging a designers body of work on one (and one of his initial attempts at that) is extremely short sighted.
    “Another example of how people in the blogosphere can forget that criticism should be constructive rather vituperative” how condescending does that sound she really does think she’s ‘the’ authority’ on fashion blog protocol – reality check lady Рthis is the comments section of the blog where people give feedback on the topic of the blog post – nobody wants the blog experience to become undemocratic so comments come both negative & positive, considering comments are generally people’s opinions chances are both sides will rare their heads Рconstructive or not.
    No I don’t think that fashion editors across the board base their opinions purely on what they want to wear but they do have a mandate to convey their wearabilty evaluation of each collection which in my opinion is just to commercial of an approach when it comes to describing/analyzing the work of designers like Tisci.
    As for generalisation if you read the comment properly you would know I am talking specifically about the editors that have been so negative toward him. See there are people like LLG who obviously don‚Äôt understand Tisci‚Äôs designs who see them as ‚Äúover embellished, unappealing use of fabric, & strange cuts‚Äù or ‚Äòoverly-gimmicky‚Äô& ‚Äòtrying too hard‚Äô and there are those like Susie Bubble who get it ‚ÄúHis experiments and expressions through the seasons seem to always captivate me‚Äù& ‚ÄúI see something in Tisci that stirs my own feelings in fashion‚Äù- Tisci‚Äôs own take on his work is ‘To be a couturier is one thing, but at this level you’re not just selling clothes, you are selling dreams and emotions’
    What with LLG’s negative attitude toward Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh isn’t the content on Style Bubble a bit too far of a reach of for her imagination? Um hello this is someone who actually referred to herself on her blog as having been a young, willowy blonde, rushing around in black twinsets, pencil skirts & high heels – Sloane ranger much eewwwwww.
    At least some editors can admit they simply ‘don’t get it’:
    Tisci is a designer’s designer he exists in our world to attain a level that others aspire to achieve – oh and just to be clear I love all of his collections but I do not rate this as being his best collection to date.

  18. Mer

    2008-02-29 at 11:20 AM

    what is with the “matador” imagenery? Really, I don¬¥t find it interesting at all.
    I just didn¬¥t like this collection, because I don¬¥t find it interesting or elegant…But that¬¥s me

  19. cate

    2008-02-29 at 1:44 PM

    well i don’t think you should analyse riccardo tisci’s work like a fashion editor either. i like his creations too.

  20. riz

    2008-02-29 at 1:54 PM

    Well, I have to spend a little more time with this collection. I like your review and I definitely think this is a marked improvement over last season…He needs to be given a push still I think…

  21. Stevie

    2008-02-29 at 2:53 PM

    whaat? I was completely oblivious to the Tisci victimisation!
    But why? His collections are marvelous. His Haute Couture I thought was one of the most interesting off the bunch too.
    What I have peeked of his most recent collection; it’s fantastic but not ahn improvement purely because the knits, studs and high waisted tailoring of AW07 had me in love.
    Glad that some are swallowing their words (and eating their hats too, perhaps..)

  22. Drusilla

    2008-02-29 at 3:48 PM

    I didn’t know he’d been slated so much too…I wasn’t exactly a fan of his first couple of collections, but the recent Spring Couture show was one of the better ones to emerge from that week- I loved it. In fact, I think I’ve really liked his last three-odd collections, and I love this one.
    Re: the ‘pencil skirts and twinsets’- Sometimes people don’t get to wear the things they’d really like to, or anything like them (law firm intern talking here) because we’re expected to look a certain way- it doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate alternative modes of dressing. And it certainly isn’t LLG’s fault that she’s blonde, nor is it nice to slap a label like ‘Sloane Ranger’ (to the best of my knowledge, not a very complimentary epithet) on someone.

  23. Libertygirl

    2008-02-29 at 4:57 PM

    Mina: There is room in the fashion world for both negative & positive opinions on designer’s collections. I was merely objecting to the, um, colourful, language in your comment. Neither you nor I have the definitive opinion about Givenchy: they are just opinions at the end of the day. There is a tendency, discussed previously on this blog, on mine and on others, for commenters to resort to insults and petty name throwing when constructive criticism, based on facts, would be more appropriate.
    I used ‘raved’ and ‘adored’ to describe Pugh & McQueen – hardly expressions of distaste.
    Tisci has now produced five prêt a porter collections for Givenchy. This March will be his sixth. (He showed his last own label collection in Milan in Spring 05, before producing the Givenchy couture in July 05, and his first PaP for SS06 in October 05.) That means I did indeed do the showroom appt I mentioned 5 or 6 seasons ago. Of course, I don’t judge his entire body of work on one showroom appt: I was just giving an example.
    If you analyse the fiscal reports, as I have done, rather than relying on other newspapers, you will see that there have been problems with sales in the past, that actual sales are very small relatively (regardless of year on year increases), and that of course, the fashion line (whether we love or loathe it) is there to support sales of more lucrative bags, cosmetics and fragrance.
    Sloane Ranger? Really? Of COURSE I am. Silly me for not recognising that. Doh! And there I was thinking that LBDs and black pencil skirts were classic fashion editor wear. Silly old me. Thanks, Mina, for putting me right with your expert analysis of my wardrobe. And, of course you are right, using what I wore ten years ago is the perfect way in which to analyse my ability as a fashion editor. Of COURSE it is.
    Susie: I think you may have misread me. I wasn’t accusing you of sweeping generalisations but Mina. I happen to agree with your review of this current collection, based on the runway images. As you know, I enjoy your blog very much, describing it in print last year as ‘the definitive fashion blog.’
    LLG xx

  24. enc

    2008-02-29 at 10:59 PM

    I like these looks for what they are. Why do they have to be labeled by the fashion press? I suppose that is the most naive question of all time.

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